Oregon one of eight states to receive drought aid

USDA designates $21 million for farmers and ranchers in drought-stricken states.

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The USDA is designating $21 million for farmers and ranchers in drought-stricken states.

Oregon is one of the eight states identified.

From OregonLive.com:

This latest announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, though, is not to keep farmers afloat, but to start conserving water for future years. The money can be used for improving irrigation systems, which can be expensive, or changing grazing practices, which can take some time to perfect.

“Since the historic drought of 2012, dry conditions have persisted in many parts of the country, particularly in the West,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investment will provide additional resources in drought-stricken areas to help farmers and ranchers implement solutions to mitigate the impacts of sustained drought.”

Oregon is in its fourth-straight year of drought.

The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, declared a statewide drought emergency last week, but Oregon’s neighbor to the north was left off the USDA’s list of states eligible for funding.

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the aid Monday. The assistance will go to areas of the West that are rated in the highest categories of drought. That includes parts of California, Kansas, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

The money comes from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. The conservation agency says it has spent more than $1.5 billion on water-conservation measures for agriculture since 2012.


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